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      My Workout Partner by Len Stevens

      When my wife and I went looking for a dog, I told her I wanted a dog that knows how to relax.{} "I'm just looking to get a chill dog," I said, "a dog that can just be calm and maybe fetch a ball every once in a while."

      What we ended up getting was completely different.{} Scooby Stevens is a workout warrior.{} He's full of energy.{} He can fetch, sure.{} But he can also get so excited, it's hard to know what to do with him.{} We've walked him and run him.{} I've even taken him for "bike runs," where I ride the bike and he runs along with me.{} We go tearing up and down our street and he rarely ends up even breathing hard!

      It was a conundrum.{} Scooby is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, maybe a Ridgeback mix.{} We didn't know that early on.{} We found out later, when he was a few months old. {}When we did, we looked the breed up.{} Fascinating! {}Ridgebacks were actually bred in Africa to hunt lions!{} It's true!{} (But I don't think Scoob would be very good at that sort of thing. {}He is not at all aggressive.{} I don't think he would hurt a stink bug, much less take on the king of the jungle.)

      Along with all the talk about their lion-hunting abilities, one of the first things we read was:{} "Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren't always good family dogs, as they can have abundant energy and be stubborn." {}Stubborn? Sometimes.{} Energetic? Almost always!{} But we've found a way to finally tire him out.

      Scooby loves to run on the treadmill! {}It's fantastic!{} He runs on it almost daily.{} In fact, when I'm on it, he sometimes sits right next to it and looks up with sad eyes, as if to say "Len, get off!{} My turn!!!!" {}When he gets going, his tail wags and he just seems so happy.{} We put him on there at about 4 miles per hour and just watch him trot, sometimes for up to an hour!{} Thank God!

      Many a dog expert has said a tired dog is a good dog.{} Well, Scooby's a great dog, and the occasional run makes him even better.{} When we workout together, he now gets the treadmill and I take the elliptical. {}That's okay! {}He's great motivation! {}My wife shot this video, when she came home one afternoon to find Scooby and me working on our fitness. We both{}often wish we had a fraction of his energy.